Ok, so the first time around I was willing to give the Obamas a little slack. They got their first dog and got it from a breeder. But now it’s been a few years, they’ve gotten over their historic win, they’ve gotten to know Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog, as a friend, and they’ve been exposed to a world of animal issues and animal politics.
By now the Obamas should be a little aware of the 2.7 million adoptable shelter dogs and cats euthanized each year. They’re aware that they have let down anyone who cares about wildlife, wolves, getting a fair price for ranchland, etc. They are aware enough of how detrimental it is to animal welfare to support businesses that breed dogs instead of non-profits who adopt them out to make a donation to the local shelter.
But what do they do? Get another purebred dog.
Oh, I’m sure there will be some complicated story about how this is another “second chance dog.” Sunny was born in 2012 in Michigan, where there are a few Portuguese Water Dog breeders. If this were really a rescue the White House would have mentioned it and they wouldn’t have had to make a pity donation to the Washington Humane Society.
Let’s remember the fishy story about how Bo came into their life. Sen. Ted Kennedy loved Portuguese Water Dogs and somehow just as the Obamas moved to the White House a family decided that their puppy from Kennedy’s breeder wasn’t working out. Oh, I’m sure that Kennedy didn’t have anything to do with that. Back in 2009, dog people were disappointed they fell for all the American Kennel Club branding. But, really if a gravely ill Sen. Kennedy arranged to get me a dog, I’d pretty much take that dog, too. At the time I talked to some big time dog trainers, like Bash Dibra, who had volunteered his services to take any hypoallergenic shelter dog they wanted and train it to be a presidential pet.
But, seriously, a second one of the same obscure breed? It seems like these days it’s not enough for people to have stupid AKC papers on their golden retriever. No, they’ve got to get themselves some breed of dog that was almost wiped out, was down to a handful and then is having a current douchebag revival. And what ever happened to that shelter dog Joe Biden so desperately wanted to adopt after he bought a dog from a puppy mill?
As if a dog that meets the American Kennel Club’s random physical requirements is better than other dogs. This is a terrible example to set for their girls and the country: just get whatever you want and don’t worry about how you contribute to a problem. If you feel bad, give a donation and forget it.